Interesting facts about Dmitry Donskoy

Prince Dmitry Ivanovich was born on October 12, 1350, he was the eldest son of Ivan II the Red and the grandson of Ivan Kalita. In 1359, Dmitry, according to his father's will, received Moscow with the adjacent lands, as well as Mozhaisk and Kolomna for joint use by his brother Ivan and cousin Vladimir. Naturally, the nine-year-old prince could not rule on his own, therefore, for several years, the boyars had real power.

The wife of Prince Dmitry was Evdokia, the daughter of Dmitry Konstantinovich, the ruler of the Nizhny Novgorod-Suzdal principality. At the time of the marriage, Dmitry was 16 years old, and Evdokia 13. This union strengthened relations between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. The couple lived together for 22 years, they had 12 children: 8 sons (Daniel, Vasily, Yuri, Simeon, Andrey, Peter, Ivan, Konstantin) and 4 daughters (Sophia, Maria, Anastasia, Anna).

During his reign, Dmitry Ivanovich had to wage both internecine wars and fight with Lithuania and the Horde. The most famous battle took place in September 1380 on the Kulikovo field, not far from the place where the Nepryadva river flows into the Don. The bloody battle lasted for several hours, after which the remnants of Mamai's army fled. After this glorious victory, Dmitry began to be called Donskoy.

Despite the success, the losses of the Russian troops were also significant. The annals say that on the Kulikovo field, the Russian army lost almost half of the warriors. The death of 12 princes and 483 boyars is also reported. But, the names of only four dead princes are reliably known: Fedor and Mstislav Yuryevich Tarusa, as well as Fedor Romanovich and Ivan Fedorovich Belozersky. Dmitry Donskoy himself went to battle in the outfit of an ordinary warrior.

In the "Life of St. Sergius" there is a mention of the fact that before the Battle of Kulikovo, Grand Duke Dmitry Ivanovich received the blessing of Sergius of Radonezh. And in the "Legend of the Battle of Mamai" it is also reported that the Monk Sergius blessed two monks to participate in the battle - Alexander Peresvet and Andrey Oslyaba. It was Peresvet who fought a duel with the Mongol warrior Chelubey, who stood out for his enormous physical strength.

Under Dmitry Donskoy, a white-stone Kremlin was built in Moscow. Initially, the fortress walls were wooden, which made it vulnerable to fire. A fire in 1365 destroyed most of Moscow, including the oak walls of the Kremlin. The prince ordered the construction of a new Kremlin from stone to begin. Work began in 1367 and was completed a year later.

For additional protection of the Kremlin, a moat was dug from Neglinnaya to the Moskva River. The new defensive structures soon showed their effectiveness during the invasion of the troops of the Lithuanian prince Olgerd. The fortress walls were seriously destroyed during the attack on Moscow by Khan Tokhtamysh in 1382, but they were quickly restored. Thanks to Prince Dmitry Donskoy, the Moscow Kremlin began to be called Belokamenny.

A few days before the death of Dmitry Donskoy, Princess Evdokia gave birth to the youngest, eighth, son of Constantine. In the father's will, it was separately stipulated that in the event of the birth of a son, the elder brothers would have to allocate parts of their inheritance to him. After several redistributions, Uglich was approved for Konstantin. Constantine died in 1434 (according to other sources, at the end of 1433). The youngest son of Dmitry Donskoy died childless, taking monasticism with the name Cassian in the Simonov Monastery in Moscow, where he was buried.

The Moscow prince Dmitry Donskoy died at a young, even for the XIV century, age. At the time of his death, he was not yet 39 years old. Dmitry died on May 19, 1389, the prince was buried in the Archangel Church of the Kremlin. Dmitry's wife Evdokia survived her husband by 18 years, the princess died on June 7, 1407, shortly before her death she took monastic vows with the name Euphrosinia. She was buried in the Ascension Convent, the construction of which was begun by her order. In 2002, her relics were transferred to the Archangel Cathedral.

In December 1942, Metropolitan Sergius appealed to the believers with an appeal to start collecting money for the construction of the Dimitry Donskoy tank column. In total, about 8 million rubles were collected, for this amount 40 tanks were manufactured at the plant in Nizhny Tagil. Already in March 1944, tanks with the inscription "Dimitry Donskoy" on the towers were baptized by fire. Currently, the surviving tanks of this column can be seen in museums in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tula.

At the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988, Prince Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy was canonized. The decision of the Council noted the merits of Dmitry Donskoy before the Orthodox Church and the people, as well as his personal pious life. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of Remembrance of the Prince on June 1 in a new style. Since 2015, on the same day, the memory of his wife, Princess Evdokia, has been celebrated.